No toilet, no business: Senate

THE Public Health Bill sailed through Senate last week with senators calling for inclusion of a clause making it mandatory for all new business premises to have ablution facilities before they are allowed to operate.


Health minister David Parirenyatwa, who introduced the bill, said his ministry had consulted widely to ensure that the health law covered a new strain of diseases.

The Public Health Act was first promulgated 70 years ago and hence had become archaic.

Mashonaland Central senator Damian Mumvuri said there was need for the bill to correct the anomaly where business operators did not provide ablution facilities for their clients.

“There is conflict between councils or regulating authorities like Rural Service Centres where business people are granted permission to operate business without adequate toilets for the public, and they only construct toilets for themselves,” he said.

“When people congregate together at a public place they do not have access to those toilets as they are locked up for use by workers and staff only and this is an anomaly which should be rectified in the Bill.”

Parirenyatwa said the problem of businesses opening up without adequate ablution facilities was not peculiar to rural areas, but also prevalent in urban areas, particularly Harare.

“The issue of toilets for the public in business premises is a very important one because what people end up using as an option are alleyways.

We find that alleyways are no longer what we used to know.

“Local authorities and government need to ensure that at least we have public toilets.

We suggested that there be public toilets and private toilets as well so that there are alternatives and choices.

That is why we continue to have cholera and diarrheal diseases,” he said.

The bill now awaits Presidential assent.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:


  1. Lizwi Alpha Ntuli

    In Zimbabwe it appears it is a crime to respond to the call of nature. Most toilets in the capital charge even for urinating. So if you don’t have 50c, you are in danger of messing your pants in town. Unlike in South Africa, they have public toilets all over…So this bill came in good time, if not overdue…

  2. It has always been the case, that no business is given an operating license without an ablution facility. I don’t know what’s so new here, the difficulty that most have faced “Health Inspectors” is the rampant corruption in the local councils. Council offers business licenses ignoring recommendations from the Health Inspectors. Designs of most business premises is given a stamp of approval against the recommendations which would have be given by the Health inspectors.
    Health is not about the amount of nurses and doctors in a nation but how the nation prevents diseases. The current system doesn’t recognize this, until they do public health will not improve anytime soon.

    1. Jesus is the answer

      Thumbs up think big

Comments are closed.